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France’s All-Time Tournament Earnings Leaderboard

by Erik Fast |  Published: Oct 04, 2023


Rank Player Earnings
1 Bertrand Grospellier $14,693,559
2 Jean-Noel Thorel $13,898,164
3 Benjamin Pollak $12,865,821
4 Antoine Saout $9,432,384
5 Rui Cao $9,206,622
6 Sylvain Loosli $8,272,047
7 David Benyamine $7,554,294
8 Fabrice Soulier $6,033,443
9 Julien Martini $5,757,596
10 Alexandre Reard $4,786,615

With his victory in the EPT Barcelona main event, Simon Wiciak became the latest poker millionaire hailing from his home country of France. The Western European nation has long been one of the top poker-playing nations on the globe, with 40 WSOP bracelets won and more than $750 million in tournament earnings recorded by French players. Those marks are both top five among all nations.

The highest-earning Frenchman to date is Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier. The two-time bracelet winner, EPT champion, and WPT champion has accrued nearly $14.7 million during his career. The former StarCraft professional has managed three seven-figure scores along the way, with his largest payday being a runner-up finish in the 2017 WSOP $111,111 buy-in One Drop high roller for $2,278,657. The triple crown winner is one of just three French players to have accumulated eight figures in cashes.

Hot on his heels is Jean-Noel Thorel. The businessman and high-stakes tournament aficionado has put together nearly $13.9 million across just 82 in-the-money finishes made over the past 15 years. Like ElkY, Thorel has managed a trio of seven-figure cashes. His two largest paydays both came this year, starting off with a runner-up showing in the $250,000 buy-in at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $2.1 million in February. This summer saw Thorel manage another second-place finish, this time in the $125,000 main event at the Triton London festival for more than $2.8 million.

Benjamin Pollak is the final French player to surpass $10 million in earnings up to this point. The 2017 WSOP main event third-place finisher secured $3.5 million for his podium finish in that 7,221-entry tournament. Pollak is far from a one-hit wonder, though. He has managed 22 other six-figure tournament scores in his career, bringing his lifetime total to more than $12.8 million. His second-largest score saw him outlast a field of 69 entries in the 2019 EPT Barcelona €50,000 high roller for a $1,145,430 windfall. His heads-up opponent in that event was none other than Thorel. ♠